Just so you know…

  1. Just so you know trainers often don't want to go to the gym either. This morning I was feeling less then chipper and wanted to crawl back into bed. Daylight savings time has made the mornings darker and on this cool Friday the 13th I wanted to snuggle back up in my sheets but something pushed me on. I knew that if I just went to the gym even if it was just for a quick 30 minute workout I would feel so much better than I did when I woke up. And sure enough as I'm writing this and having just left the gym, I feel more awake and in a way better mood. I love getting my workout done in the morning because "life" doesnt get in the way. What I mean by that is often times as the day goes by more and more stuff comes up. Errands arise, children need to be dropped off and picked up from school, someone comes down with a cold and must go to the doctor, dinner needs to be fixed and by the time that's all done you're too tired to fit in a workout. So I say get in there this morning. Get in there before shit hits the fan and make time for yourself because often times no one else will. And if you need more of a reason to get moving in the A.M., a workout in the morning will read up your metabolism helping you burn more calories throughout your day... just so you know. 

The Hard Truth

I gained 60 pounds carrying our baby girl. There I said it; I have outed the number I've been so embarrassed to say out loud, but that's the hard truth.  I exercised my entire pregnancy and ate healthy and did all that I could to provide my body and baby with all the proper nutrition needed to thrive, but the pounds kept packing on and on.  However, I'm not going to dwell on it, I will let the number go, I'm going to dust it off my shoulders and move on because above all I don't want my daughter to see me with a negative self image and beating myself up for something I couldn't control.  Instead, I want to be a positive role model and love my body even at its heavier state because without it, we wouldn't have our beautiful daughter. Many thanks should be given to my muscles for carrying us through all 41 weeks of pregnancy and for helping us through a difficult labor.  When my body was aching from 18 1/2 hours of labor I had to go to a deeper place and let my mind lead my body beyond the pain and fatigue to push for another 3 hours.  So, thank you, Mind, Body and Soul. Thank you for doing your job, but now that job has changed.  Together it's time to get down to business. I've just been able to resume exercise since giving birth. I turned my focus to what I could do, and that was provide my body and baby with the best nutrition possible and let breastfeeding do its best to burn off the extra calories. Now that I can exercise I'm going to reap double the benefits from both healthy eating and training and hitting the ground running. To be it was a walk at first, but nevertheless moving in the right direction.

If you are ready to take it up a notch, ready to treat your body right and give it all the proper nutrition it needs to thrive, contact me so we can do it together.  People are far more likely to succeed with a partner or support system behind them.  Don't let another day go by beating yourself up for not being the person you know you can be and don't be a victim to negative self image, it not only hurts you but those around you.  Together we will accomplish our goals. 

Talking Turkey

Feeling adventurous and ready to give your Thanksgiving guests a healthy alternative to potatoes?  Try mashed cauliflowers this turkey day and have a little fun and see if your family can tell the difference.

MASHED CAULIFLOWER

Our savory cauliflower puree makes a perfect low-carb stand-in for mashed potatoes. It gets its fabulous flavor from garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter and, best of all, it has about one-quarter of the calories of typical mashed potatoes. If you like, vary it by adding shredded low-fat cheese or chopped fresh herbs.

INGREDIENTS
8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Snipped fresh chives for garnish

PREPARATION

Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.


SMASHED POTATOES

6 medium sized red potatoes

1/2 cup finely sliced red shallots

2 cloves of fresh minced garlic

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 tsp onion powder

1/4 cup fresh chives or parsley

Nonstick cooking spray

Inructions:

Cut potatoes into small peices and boil until tender.  Using a separate pan, mix shallots, garlic, black pepper and onion powder and saute for 8-10 minutes, then mash. Top with fresh chives or parsley and serve.

CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients:

15 oz can of pumpkin

10 oz of egg whites

2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup splenda or stevia

May also sweeten with Agave, Grade B Maple Syrup or local Organic Honey

Optional: 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a pie pan with non stick cooking spray. Mix all together and pour into your pie pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick or knife in the pie and it comes out clean.

SPICY PARMESAN GREEN BEANS AND KALE

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (about 14 mushrooms)
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and slice into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale (1/2 pound), rinsed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
 

Instructions:
Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and the kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

 

Foods That Fight Cellulite

Eat your way to a flat belly, firm thighs, and smooth, dimple-free skin with these fat and cellulite-fighting diet tips

1. Eat meals and snacks on a regular schedule 

"Sticking to a regular daily pattern trains your brain when to expect food and when not to, so you're less likely to nosh between meals,” says Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Tufts University and co-author of The "I” Diet. "It's those unplanned snacks that tend to trip you up because they're often high-calorie or high-sugar foods,” she says.

2. Nix white flour food  

At least two studies have found that people who eat the most whole grains have less belly fat than those who eat fewer complex carbs (yeah, you can have cellulite around your middle, too). With the variety of whole-grain products on store shelves today, it's easier than ever to snub the refined stuff. The higher fiber content in whole-wheat bread and pasta keeps you feeling full longer, so you won't have to contend with a rumbling belly.

3. Make friends with fat  

It may sound counterintuitive, but trust us: To lose fat, you have to get over your fat phobia. Healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil, can actually help with weight loss (and cellulite). They provide flavor, texture, and a feeling of satisfaction, all things you need if you want to stick to a healthy eating plan. "Just use them as condiments, not the main attraction," says Delia Hammock, R.D., a nutritional consultant in New York City. Spread a tablespoon of mashed avocado onto a sandwich for lunch or toss a teaspoon of sunflower seeds with veggies at dinner.

4. "Cheat" the right way  

The concept of a cheat day is a weight-loss staple, but it's also the Achilles' heel of many eating plans. A day of eating whatever you want can add up to thousands (yes, thousands) of extra calories. It can also make it harder to get back on track the next day, when your brain has a chocolatecake hangover. Instead of splurging for an entire day, Lisa Young, Ph.D., R.D., the author of The Portion Teller Plan, recommends limiting yourself to just one cheat meal each week. "Plan it, enjoy it, and as long as it happens just once a week you won't break the calorie bank."

5. Focus each meal on one bold, hot flavor  

Loading your plate with too many tastes or aromas may trigger the production of hunger inducing hormones that can make you overeat without realizing it. Instead, keep the flavor simple but make it stand out: Go for spices like crushed red pepper, paprika, and chili powder, all of which contain capsaicin, a compound that may increase satiety and help you eat less, according to recent research published in the International Journal of Obesity. Not into your food packing heat? Try flavorful spices, like cumin, turmeric, or coriander.

6. Go vegetarian 1 day a week  

A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who ate the most meat were about 27 percent more likely to be obese and 33 percent more likely to have abdominal obesity (dangerous fat that accumulates around the organs in your midsection and increases your risk of heart disease) than people who ate the least amount of meat. They also consumed about 700 more calories per day, on average.

7. Flex your willpower  

Practice makes perfect with healthy eating too. Try this "resistance exercise" from Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., the author of The Beck Diet Solution. "Every time you refrain from eating something you hadn't planned, you strengthen your ‘resistance muscle,' making it more likely that the next time you're tempted, you'll resist the urge," says Beck.

8. Eat an appetizer  

Studies show that if you take the edge off hunger before lunch and dinner, you'll eat less. Choose from one of our 100-calorie appetizers, then eat your main meal in the following order: vegetables first (which should take up about half your plate), then the protein, then the whole-grain carbohydrates. "Having veggies first satisfies your stomach and your brain," explains Young. "Fiber-packed veggies are filling, and your eyes see a big portion, so your brain thinks you're eating more too. By the time you get to the carbs—the danger zone for many people—you'll be ready to stop."

Today's Breakfast: Energizing Quinoa Porridge

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It's the middle of the week and when I need something to help me over the hump I turn to my hearty quinoa porridge. Quinoa is one of the many trendy health foods right now, like kale, goji berries and spaghetti squash (I'll have a recipe using this squash in my next post:)) and for good reason. Quinoa is an excellent source of muscle building protein and fulfilling fiber. I also add antioxidant rich nuts and berries to keep me going all morning long. Make this recipe the night before if you have a busy morning as it takes a little longer than your average oatmeal. 

 Ingredients: 

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup of water

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of coarse salt 

1/2 cup of low fat milk or milk alternative

1/2 cup of blueberries or sliced strawberries

10-15 sliced almonds

1 tbsp of pure maple syrup or agave syrup (optional)

Instructions:  

Rinse quinoa under warm water for 3 minutes.  Combine, quinoa, cinnamon and salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat. Cover the pot and let the ingredients simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed. Pour in the milk and let the porridge simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes.  Stir in the berries and the nuts and let it sit covered to thicken for 10 minutes prior to serving.  If desired, you can drizzle it with maple syrup or agave prior to serving.